There’s nothing more than UNLV Rebels junior strong safety Peni Vea likes more than sticking his nose in the pile and making a play. A leader and playmaker in the secondary, Vea served as one of the Rebels co-captains in 2013 and earned honorable mention all-MWC honors in 2013 after leading UNLV in total tackles with 103. Vea will lead a potentially very strong and deep secondary in 2014 for UNLV and should push for more post-season honors.
A 2011 graduate of Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Vea played safety, linebacker and returned punts and kickoffs. He earned Honolulu Star-Advertiser third-team all-state honors as well as all-district and all-Big Island honors after registering a team-high 85 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries and four interceptions as a senior. He also scored three touchdowns, two from interceptions and one from a kickoff return. Originally signed with Utah State before deciding to join the Rebels. He was also a four-year letter winner in volleyball and a two-year letter winner in basketball.
Vea redshirted his freshman year in 2011, but earned UNLV Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year honors. IN 2012, he played in eight games, including six starts at free safety and finished sixth on the team in tackles with 52. Started all 13 game in 2013 at strong safety and added three tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions to his stat line. Had a career-high 13 tackles against Nevada-Reno in the season’s eighth game.